Cleaning the Vehicle
Cleaning the Vehicle
While there’s no denying caring for all of the components under the hood is among the most important things to keep up with on a vehicle, ensuring the interior and exterior of a vehicle is maintained just as important. This is due to the direct correlation of the appearance of the vehicle and the ability to resell it once it has been outgrown.
Providing care for the exterior of the vehicle is generally a straightforward process, as there is not much more to provide to the exterior of a vehicle aside from applying wax and having the vehicle washed. Some older cars may require care for the paint installed as some begin chipping after a few years.
Waxing a vehicle is a semi-regular process that provides a thin layer of protection to the exterior of a vehicle. The application of wax protects a vehicle’s paint from fading from direct contact with the sun, various water spots that occur after rainfall, and provides the vehicle with a nice glossy appearance. The process of waxing a vehicle is as follows:
- In a shaded area, apply a thin layer of car wax to the exterior of a dry vehicle. Do not allow the wax to sit too long, or it may be difficult to buff.
- Begin buffing the exterior, applying constant force behind the microfiber cloth being used to detail the vehicle. It is recommended waxing in a circular motion to avoid streaks.
- Allow the layer of wax to set on the vehicle; this process normally takes around 12 hours.
- Examine the exterior of the vehicle and determine if another layer is necessary. If It is, apply another thin layer of wax and repeats the process.
It is recommended to repeat this process once every three months for most older vehicles, while newer vehicles are limited to four times a year to avoid staining.
Car washes are the most basic form of exterior car care, which is why it is recommended to provide the vehicle with one every two weeks. During the process of a car wash, all of the corrosive debris, salt and other materials that may compromise a vehicle’s integrity are washed away.
The interior of a vehicle is important to maintain, as most interiors that are not properly maintained will show early signs of wear and staining that cannot be removed. Recommend interior care is as followed:
For individuals living in the southern-most part of the United States, a sun shield is recommended to mitigate the damage that occurs from long sun exposure. These sun shields sit across the dashboard of a vehicle and protect the interior from being sun-stained over time. If a sun shield is not used, the dashboard will eventually begin showing signs of sun staining.
Periodic vacuuming of the interior of a vehicle is recommended to avoid a build-up of debris that may eventually stain the carpet. Debris is normally unknowingly dragged in from the bottom of passengers feet and can cause a large amount of damage if not properly addressed in time.
While using a standard home vacuum may provide the necessary care the vehicle needs, it is recommended using car vacuums located as most gas stations and repair shops.
Caring for Cloth Interior
Periodic steam-cleaning of cloth interior is recommended to ensure the proper care for cloth seats. If no steam cleaner is available, simply spraying a cloth upholstery cleaner and following the directions will allow for thorough cleaning. Regardless of the method, it is important to provide the vehicle with care when dirt build up is noticed.
Caring for Leather Interior
As most new vehicles are coming standard with leather interior, it is important to keep up with recommended care. Using leather cleaner, leather soap and a damp cloth will provide the necessary upkeep required by the leather interior. Failure to care for the leather interior may result in early cracking or discoloration.
While it is easy to receive a standard car wash to clean the exterior of the windows, manual cleaning of the interior windows is recommended. Neglecting to clean the interior windows will not lead to any damage, but neglecting proper care may result in visible streaks or sun glares while driving. Both of these obstructions could impede the driver’s visibility and potentially lead to an accident.